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To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe

News/Business. (2011) Political commentator Margaret Hoover discusses her book 'American Individualism.' New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Eleanor 4, D.c. 2, Barack Obama 2, Hoover 2, Margaret Hoover 2, Columbia 1, Washington 1, Obama 1, Usimex Tte 1, Barack Obama 's 1, Bonnie Erbe 1, The Nation 1, New York 1, Marty 1, Margaret 1, Bush 1, Kathy Hokuhl 1, Charles A. Frueauff 1, Herbert Hoover 1, John Kerry 1,
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  WETA    To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe    News/Business.  (2011) Political commentator Margaret  
   Hoover discusses her book 'American Individualism.' New. (CC)...  

    September 18, 2011
    9:30 - 10:00am EDT  

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>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: >> the alternative fuel debate is over. this is lexus' hybrid technology designed to optimize any fuel conceivable. this is the pursuit of perfection. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation and by the charles a. frueauff foundation >> this week on "to the contrary" a first in the nation for testing sex education. then, men after the birth of their children, why some believe they get less manly.
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behind the headlines: the great granddaughter of president hoover is urging republicans to attract younger voters to ensure the future of the party. c >> hello, i'm tara wall sitting in for bonnie erbe. welcome to "to the contrary," a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, the nation's capital takes on kids and sex. a new standardized test in the district of columbia will test children on more than just reading and math. this test will have questions on human sexuality, contraception and drug use. the 50-question exam debuts this spring and is the nation's first and only.
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washington, d.c., has some of the country's highest rates for teen pregnancy and stds and school officials hope the test will explain what knowledge students have about these topics. but sex education and standardized testing are controversial topics for parents and teachers. and some parents are concerned sex education topics will now be taught to the test like reading and math. others praise the district's new initiative but worry it doesn't do enough for prevention. the test will also include questions about exercise, healthy eating and mental health. >> is the district doing the right thing for its students? >> tara, i don't know about that. but i do know that the district has very good reasons. >> no, i don't think that they are doing the right thing whether it's sex ed, environmental education, financial literacy, the issues that people agree are important but also heavily different views how we should teach them. >> i agree.
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that the district should be doing this, they have a huge problem with gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases. with the young people. and knowing how to take care of your body and knowing dangers are out there are not only important to the individual's well being but to the public health and their well being. >> maybe good intention, but without teacher accountability and reliable data i'm not sure this is going to be that helpful. >> i think, i represent the district of columbia, but this is a local matter and i had no idea they were going to do. this i have a feeling that it was to get kids to take this seriously, these are health classes which i'm sure people think, they don't pay any attention to it. and if you don't take it seriously these health care classes not only with sexual matters now, but with drugs, with ordinary health and obesity
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matters. and you say, this is one way to find out or this is one way to make them concentrate on the subject matter at hand. the other things that are important, that's the way we're going to do it. >> i don't want to underestimate the importance of some of these issues, i think the problem is that when you invite these issues in to the classroom, in to public school in to the curricula you also invite in special interests they have their own agendas and their own political ideas abut how things ought to be taught then suddenly we have parents who don't have control over the way that they teach things like sex ed, teach things like environmental studies which is now becoming -- also there's lots of tests around the country. i think that is where we find that there's a problem between we're having the cultural wars or being sought out in our classrooms rather than -- >> you know, i guess another argument could be made to pick up on that is that the schools are already going through so much relative to this week s.a.t. scores were out, the worst in 40 years for the class
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of 2011, high drop out rates in d.c. and low test scores already this is another test to add on. the people are saying, kids need quality sex ed. but don't kids also need quality, reading, writing and arithmetic? >> that's a great argument. if you can't protect yourself from death, if you want protect yourself from diseases that can cripple you, and can also be spread in to the community around you. that's a very important thing to be teaching students. and as eleanor said, there are other areas, there's drugs, there's health that's going to take care of your body. these things aren't always taught in the home and the parents don't always know them. alternate some point there needs to be a little bit of responsibility by our society to teach our children about themselves and take care of themselves. >> here is one thing i found problematic about it. unlike the rest of the standardized tests where we're able to see where the child places, below average, this test
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only going to account for the percentage of correct responses. here you have -- this isn't useful to the parents because you don't know where your child falls, number one. number two there is no teacher accountability. so why are we doing this? >> the other concern i know parents -- the concerns about are you going to teach to this test as well there are big concerns about teaching to other tests. but something that even the most conservative parents can take away and learn from this. >> i think again i don't think that some of these issues are? how not important but you have to look at the fact that some of the sex said tests are starting in the fifth grade. i remember having -- very basic health classes, culture that's already so hyper sexualized i don't necessarily need the public schools introducing more of that -- >> but i suggest that -- how do you address this issue, this issue with young kids, particularly in the inner-city, particularly in the d.c. schools that have such a high rate of -- >> could i say something by that
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since it's my district. first of all, i think you are assume this is add-on subject, can i don't think it is these kinds of health things are being taught anyway, that's first thing to bear in mind. and the second thing to bear in mind is i would understand what you are saying about parents' concerns, this is a fairly progressive, they would not be doing it in this district if parents disagreed. if you believe that these things ought to conform to the district at hand this is a problem in the district in the district of columbia. but in this district thinks this is -- >> has it been a special interest? >> outcry against it they're going to have to take it away. >> how do you -- >> health issues with these kids. >> here is the cause of concerns
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they said based on the 2009 study that over half of the cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the district of columbia were between the ages ever 15 to 19. those are pretty alarming numbers. what i would like to see is more resources to help the teachers teach this type of -- thesish issues to say, for young girls this is affecting your fertility and also could overall impact your overall health long term. so i'd like to see instead of a test, let's give the teachers more resources so they can adequately teach this and also how about nutrition, eleanor mentioned childhood obesity. i mean these -- let's build build up the health education here in class so these kids are being taught and understand how important -- >> there's a test. are you concerned that if they don't learn that, why -- why are they teaching them sex ed essentially is the question. why are we testing sex ed when there's so many --
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>> it's not sex ed. >> it's got to be all the health issues that are going -- >> because -- >> how do you measure it? it's not being measured. >> nobody wants to measure it. the point is i think very narrow. -- nobody wants to measure it. the point is i think the point is very narrow, these kids don't pay attention attention to the health courses. they find that the only thing that they pay attention to are things they get tested in. i think -- as an experiment -- >> the problem with the data -- >> we have to look -- >> we agree to disagree. we go from sex ed to actually a few foibles of father hood in fact. the more active a father is in his new child's life, the lower his testosterone level, according to new research out this week. and like women, the study suggests men are biologically
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wired to be parents. though testosterone naturally decreases with age, for men who become fathers, the decline is twice as fast compared to men without children. and while some men may feel less manly with this news, their children may thank them. lower testosterone levels can be linked to nurturing and better relationships. and don't worry boys, decreased testosterone does not mean decreased libido or that you're a wimp. sabrina this might lead leave some men limp, if you will, is this good news for women? >> it was a fascinating study from evolutionary study it seems to make sense. other thing that we usually talk about the changing face of the american family from the perspective of women the fact that more women are working outside of the home. but i think that this actually helps you sort of change that conversation and talk about just how important men are to the family and how important it is that we fathers in the home even if their role is simply their presence just having a father
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there. that is going to -- this research is going to help -- >> i agree that if it's the natural order of things, let somebody make a lot mr. sense. the notion to think about it the notion that young men, quote, sewn their wild oats and so sex craved that supposed to disappear, thank you. [laughter] >> really just think about it, if that level of testosterone are there until they were 40 even with children, my goodness they would be all that more -- fewer families than there are now. >> some of those that want the s,w their oats a little longer delay father hood? >> i read this it's perfectly natural i think it's tied to energy levels. because any new dad knows when you're up changing diapers and doing those 5:00 a.m. feedings the last thing you're thinking about is your testosterone
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level. because you're sleep deprived. really is to me seems like it's related to your energy level. any man can tell you who has an infant up to toddler years you are grateful to get any bit of sleep. >> because i think the study show that once if they get divorced the levels go back up again. then there wasn't a lot of further on down the line once they get a little bit older. >> i think it's fascinating. to look at this and how the brain is affecting the rest of the body. and not to be too flippant but at least now have some connection between here and here. >> the other thing is -- >> i had to say that. >> i do think it's interesting from that perspective, i don't think it's going to affect men wanting to get married and a have children. >> might in the sense that this research coming out just after some other major studies about male fertility and how male fertility is actually much more fragile than we once thought that the proverbial biological clock of women they're not the only ones who have that. i think that maybe that kind of
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research in conjunction with this is going to sort of change the way we talk about gender, about our roles and society in the family. >> also, too, it's good to have active dads in these kids' lives. >> i think i.t. goes to the fact that they're playing a more hands on role. >> exactly. this is now -- this is not the 1950s there are more stay at home dads and moms being the bread winner this is all very good and -- >> it should come at -- it should come at no surprise to men once they learn about that this they have been fighting their own biology, their own physiology when they had not pitched in. it's natural order of things. >> right. >> i don't think they will be fearful especially it can go back up again. [laughter] >> kids grow up as well.
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getting back to having a regular eight hour night's sleep eventually that does happen again. it's important when you think about the backdrop of the 41% of children are born to single mothers, i think that evidence like this is important to sort of emphasize the fathers and demonstrate just how important their role is in the family. >> how do you think this will help better quip men for father hood. whether they're young, older? how does it hurt? >> i think they need to understand that they need to have skin in this game, too. that parenting that's exactly what it is, it takes two of you to do it, if you're there, please be presence, please be active and, yes, just like women tend to be sleep deprived you will be, too. >> seems like they have -- just over the years i think back when i was younger there's a time where men didn't change diapers at all now they do change diapers. they do a lot more of the hands on. i think -- i just think that will probably continue. >> i think this is good news for
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men, it's good news for fathers and good news for families. and women. >> absolutely. >> it's good news all the way around. >> good. well, lets it behind the headlines. margaret hoover. the great-granddaughter of president herbert hoover is encouraging the republican party to attract the youngest voting generation through issues like jobs and the economy. to the contrary sat down with hoover to discuss her new book and the future of the gop. >> this isn't about just saving the republican party from the course it's on now, in the sense of its mainstream efficacy. but with the next generation, the 30 and unders, the millennials, they were born at the beginning of the reagan presidency through the end of the clinton presidency, they are not voting republican. they are majority responsible for barack obama's election and the urgency for the republican party is that partisan identity solidifies after three presidential election cycles. they broke from the republican party decisively in '04 and voted for john kerry.
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they again decisively voted for a democrat, barack obama in 2008. so the republican party really has only months to make inroads with this generation or we could lose them for the rest of their lives. >> hoover encourages the to worry less about social shift its vote. to millennial voters, the economic recovery is the most important issue. >> i think the conservative movement has put forward solutions to actually relate to the next generation's fiscal future and actually are looking out for the younger folks in ways that i would argue is better than some of the democratic solutions that have been put forward. so i think its our time to make our case. and i think the debate right now, especially with the economy. 37% of millennials are unemployed or underemployed. so there's a case to be made here and look, the next generation, their politics are pragmatic, not partisan. and i think we have a very strong pragmatic case to make here for policy solutions.
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>> social issues like abortion and gay rights are pushing many young voters away from the republican party. as she explains it these issues are not creating the culture wars they once were. >> i think that the 30 and under generation are the least traditional generation in american history. they have come from the fewest number of traditional families, most number of single parent homes, only generation where 50% of them believe in same sex marriage. they think everybody should have the same rights as they do. and they certainly think their gay friends should be able to get married. and this is something that i actually argue is consistent with the republican tradition. while they believe that abortion is morally unacceptable, they don't want the government to tell a woman not to have an abortion. they don't want roe v. wade overturned. they've also decided, if it were up to them, probably in most cases they wouldn't have an abortion. and i think this is a fine place to leave it, we shouldn't litigate it. >> if the republican party wants
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town seat president barack obama, the candidates have to understand younger voters more. >> the majority of candidates are not in favor of gay rights, they've all signed the marriage amendment, the national organization for marriage's marriage amendments. and this is troublesome for the millennial generation. so, on that specific issues, i think the republicans are planting their flag in the sand in a way that is not constructive or helpful for the growth or the future of the party. >> and hoover hopes the republican party can attract millennial women especially. >> this generation of women, millennial women, have had more choices available to them than any generation before. they can choose to be stay at home moms, they can choose to have careers, they can have untraditional families where the father stays home with the kids and they go to work, or they can work it out between them and their spouse, or some women often don't have families. and so there are a variety of choices available to women and i would like the republican party to embrace all of these choices. >> and hoover is hitting the road, taking her message of individual freedom through the republican party across the
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country. >> i'm speaking to lots of groups. i'm going to be speaking to college campuses, young republicans. my book was really written for members of the republican party as a clarion call for how to connect to the next generation and i would make the case to them that this is our golden opportunity. but i also want to flag for them that there are some issues on the horizon that we're going to have to think about strategically if, as a party, we cant to appeal to the next generation. >> for more from margaret hoover about her great-grandfather and his economic recession, visit our website. >> my first question, i've heard this criticism, if you will, from republicans in the party. >> sure. she writes of good points, i don't think the situation with younger voters is as dire as she paints it. i think right now with the economy the younger generation certainly is being hit with
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unemployment just like everyone else. even more so. many are still living at home with their parents, they are working at starbucks which is pretty good job. >> i just saw this week, it was on another conservative survey, if you will, where younger voters, republican voters really are concerned about jobs and the deficit in particular. >> absolutely. and as long as the republicans are maintaining the idea of deficit reduction come up with a plan to reduce unemployment in this country as long as we are on the current path with this administration, with 9.1 unemployment and housing foreclosure rates, the republicans are the party that are coming up with the options, that's where the young people are. >> if you look at the data closely, it is not only on the social issues, they have long been gone from the republican party and social issues. on economic issues, these
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millennias and young people think that government is good. they don't -- they do not think that the government can do no good. i believe -- >> if you put your partisan hat for one second, eleanor, and recommendations to republicans, should they shift their message, if you will, from a more -- from the social issues, from the economic. >> i would say that just a few years ago there were republicans in the house who indeed crossed over on some of these issues and even on economic issues, they have just been chased out of the house of representatives, some of them may still be in the senate. it is very dangerous when a party becomes so monolithic and especially if that marty is so wounded. and issues of the past. >> we were talking about issues of freedom which i do think that margaret is right that younger voters do identify with, that
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they want more freedom and more choice whether it's in how they see it for their retirement, how they choose their health care or where they send their children to school. i think what she raised in interesting in 2008 we did see young voters coming out, it's easy to conflate their enthusiasm for sort of superstar barack obama with their engagement with public policy issues. while there are things that the republicans can take away from 2008 we have to be sure that we're present can the right policy prescriptions not just the charismatic leader that can bring in 20 somethings. >> social issues matter to both parties, right? >> absolutely they do. first when you look historically in our country in particular you don't talk about social issues as much. they're not to the forefront when you have economic issues that when you can't put bread in your mouth or keep roof over your head or keep your job the social issues become a the lo more distaste. for people the deal with. the women's right to vote which is huge issue, was said by
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woodrow wilson, go away, we have boys dying in the war you don't need the right to vote how horrible of to you want this. at this time. but i do think that she has a good point on these issues with this generation that they're not going to buy in to the wedge issues as much. they do think as eleanor said that government is a good thing, that they do think that government should be providing services to people. and i want to point out, it's -- >> because of the economic straits that we find ourselves in, at this point is there a role, i think the greater question that might be asked is, do we need to revisit the role of what government is and does. >> yes. >> recognizes some solutions to that. >> i think they do. however, the problem is the economy we have today is the economy we're going to have next year. and when these kids cannot find
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jobs, when they are dealing with bread and butter of putting food on the table, i think you are less concerned about the social issues if you can't pay your bills you cannot pay -- >> you're right about that. built the economy which we have today, the millennials don't blame on one party or the other and certainly don't blame it on the democrats because they stepped to be more a positive role or -- >> get right back to the vote quickly. aside from the social issues, the engagement of younger voters, i queried president bush about this when i interviewed him final week in office, i was surprised hear him say that we need to let the old guys back away from the party for awhile let some new blood come in for younger generation with new ideas and even i tend to -- i know there were a lot of younger people in that group. i was a little surprised, there was influx of younger voters and youth vote people within that age range. what is it going to take, is the party gearing its message, is
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the party geared up to allow this younger generation to take over? >> i think, yes and no. i think on one hand we're talking about the youth votes we have to recognize that as much as we like to talk about the youth vote, younger voters don't vote as often or as -- don't come to the polls as much. there's limit to how many resources either party is going to want to invest in that. we're talking about the party apparatus and infrastructure i think it's great the more that we can bring younger people in with fresh ideas and new concepts that's -- >> her point was much deeper than that. her point was with millennials are who the country is going to be in the future. it wasn't just barack obama you have few more -- i think we have to leave it there. we were all in consensus that the youth is the next generation that's going to help spur things forward on either i'd. >> that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." next week: representative. kathy hokuhl from new york on her surprise victory and her plans in congress.
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check out our website for ttc extra. and whether your views are in agreement or to the contrary, please join usimex tte. t >> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: >> the alternative fuel debate is over. this is lexus' hybrid technology designed to optimize any fuel conceivable. this is the pursuit of perfection. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation and by the charles a. frueauff foundation for videotapes of "to the contrary", please contact federal news service at 1-888-343-1940.
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